philosophical dimensions of climate change (PDCC)
CSID has been funded by NASA across the period of 2008-2011 to further its investigations in:
- The Ethical and Philosophical Dimensions of Climate Change
- The science of science policy
To date, philosophical considerations of climate change have centered on questions of ethics and environmental justice. The Center for the Study of Interdisciplinarity seeks to expand the conversation concerning climate change by exploring the full range of philosophical and societal concerns and by integrating these concerns with recent thinking about science policy. As part of the latter point, CSID's research into climate change issues will synergize with its ongoing research into the interdisciplinary nature of the peer review (cf. CAPR).Literature Review: the Philosophy of Climate Change
There has been work done on the politics of climate change, including the commentary of Andrew Dessler on his blog "Science and Politics of Global Climate Change" to Luterbacher and Sprinz's 2001 book, "International Relations and Global Climate Change" (MIT Press), however, little if any work has been done on the political philosophy of climate change.
Within ethics, the philosophical discussion has occurred primarily through the use of the language of justice. In an article on ClimateEthics.org, Donald Brown discusses de-ontological, eco- and bio-centric, and relationship ethics, his work principally uses justice ethics to critique utilitarian forms that focus exclusively on the use of cost-benefit analyses. Dale Jamieson has done some work on Aristotelian virtue ethics, but feminist critiques that expound the use of care ethics, for example, have not been integrated into the dialogue.
Within the exclusive focus on the justice framework, only one of the three theories of justice is referenced to address climate change. Predominantly, the discourse is in terms of distributive justice, though recognition and procedural justice are implicitly appealed to.
People working in the field of PDCC
- Don Brown Donald Brown works primarily in the ethics as justice paradigm and critiques the utilitarianism of economic cost-benefit analyses approaches to the climate change.
- Steve Gardiner Gardiner primarily focuses on intergenerational justice ethics and has a thorough paper on the precautionary principle. His personal page on the University of Washington website has links to many of his works.
- Dale Jamieson Dale Jamieson uses procedural justice, argues that "Utilitarians should adopt virtue ethics for the best utilitarian outcome, describes his latest book as defending a "thoroughgoing Darwinian naturalism, and argued that there is a no anthropocentric "significance in learning to live with nature."
- Roger Pielke Pielke is scientist who tackles the interaction of scientists and policymakers and focuses on mitigation and adaptation strategies to mitigate climate change. He is a major contributor to the Prometheus blog, which explores science policy issues including climate change.
- Mickey Glantz Glantz is a scientist who raises the "social" as well as political issues surrounding climate change. He argues against climate change skeptics. His website, climate affairs identifies 5 areas of climate change discussions: climate science (variability, fluctuations, change, extremes and seasonality), climate impacts (on ecosystems and on societies ), climate policy and law (domestic and international), climate politics (how societies get their laws), and climate economics/climate ethics and equity (intergenerational equity, discounting the future, and environmental justice).
- Nancy Tuana Tuana is director of the Rock Ethics Institute at Penn State which is working on the ethics of climate change. Its website offers an outstanding resource for the philosophical dimensions of climate change including links on every facet of the issue and an extensive bibliography.